Tragic teen girl's dad calls for cruel taunt websites to be closed down
A young girl killed herself after being abused by brutal messages on a social networking site, her father has said.
Hannah Smith (14) died on Friday in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, after being 'cyber-bullied' on the website ask.fm, which allows users to send messages to one another without their identity being disclosed.
Her father Dave yesterday called for the site, and those like it, to be closed down after stumbling across cruel taunts from so-called 'trolls' he said drove his daughter to take her own life.
Writing on Facebook, he said: "On Friday morning my daughter was found hanged... (I saw) her ask.fm account and someone had been telling her to die.
"I have just seen the abuse my daughter got from people on ask.fm and the fact that these people can be anonymous is wrong.
"The person that created this website should be done for manslaughter. Any parents that have children please don't let them go on this site."
Although people wanting to use ask.fm have to register an email address, name and date of birth, those posting messages can choose to do so anonymously.
Hannah's death echoes that of 16-year-old Jessica Laney, who was found dead at her home in Florida in December after users on social networking sites tormented her with insults and asked: "Can you kill yourself already?"
Laura McKay from Skipton, writing on the Change.org petition set up in Jessica's memory, said: "It's easy for people to hide behind and bully and it needs to be stopped."
Sharon Sully from Cumbria added: "How many more young lives have to be lost before it's (ask.fm) closed down?"
Philip Parsons from Southport wrote: "The Governments need to get serious about the cyber-bullying across the globe. RIP."